|Directed by||Stephen Sommers|
|Produced by||Lorenzo di Bonaventura|
|Screenplay by||Stuart Beattie|
|Story by||Michael B. Gordon|
|Based on||G.I. Joe|
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Editing by||Bob Ducsay|
|Production company||Spyglass Entertainment|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$375 million|
G.I. Joe is a 2007 American military science fiction action film based on the toy franchise created by Hasbro. It is the second film in the Hasbro Cinematic Universe. The film was directed by Stephen Sommers, with Steven Spielberg serving as executive producer.
It stars Channing Tatum and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Duke and Cobra Commander respectively. The story follows two American soldiers, Duke and Ripcord, who join the G.I. Joe Team after being attacked by an hostile military force known as Cobra who plan to launch a global nuclear threat around the world from the lost city of Atlantis and it's up to the Joes to stop them. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Christopher Eccleston, Byung-hun Lee, Sienna Miller, Rachel Nichols, Ray Park, Jonathan Pryce, Saïd Taghmaoui, Arnold Vosloo, Marlon Wayans and Dennis Quaid also star.
Stuart Beattie, David Elliot, and Paul Lovett were hired to write the story and screenplay. The U.S. Armed Forces and General Motors (GM) loaned vehicles and aircraft during filming, which saved money for the production and added realism to the battle scenes.
Hasbro's promotional campaign for the film included deals with hundreds of companies. Advertising included a viral marketing campaign, coordinated releases of prequel comic books, toys, and books, as well as product placement deals with GM, Burger King, and eBay.
G.I. Joe received mixed to positive reviews from critics and fans and was a box office success, grossing $375 million worldwide with an estimated 16 million tickets sold in the US. The film was nominated for four awards from the Visual Effects Society and was nominated for three Academy Awards, for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects. Tatum and Levitt's performances were praised by Empire. The film was followed by two sequels; Cobra Strikes in 2009, and Retaliation in 2013.
In 1963, Joseph Colton leads a small team to infiltrate a compound in Vietnam and retrieve stolen nuclear technology. After escaping with their lives as well as succeed in retrieving the nuke, Colton is awarded his own special force unit which he dubs G.I. Joe.
In 2018, weapons master James McCullen (Christopher Eccleston) has re-created the lost nuclear technology. His company M.A.R.S. sells four warheads to NATO, and NATO troops led by American soldiers Duke (Channing Tatum) and Ripcord (Marlon Wayans) are asked to deliver the warheads. Their convoy is ambushed by the Baroness (Sienna Miller), whom Duke recognizes to be his ex-fiancee Ana Lewis. Duke and Ripcord are rescued by Scarlett (Rachel Nichols), Snake Eyes (Ray Park), Breaker (Saïd Taghmaoui), and Heavy Duty (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). They take the warheads to The Pit, G.I. Joe's command center in Egypt, and upon arriving, rendezvous with the head of the G.I. Joe Team, General Hawk (Dennis Quaid). Hawk takes command of the warheads and excuses Duke and Ripcord, only to be convinced to let them join his group, after Duke reveals that he knows the Baroness.
McCullen is revealed to be using the same nuclear technology to build an army of soldiers with the aid of Cobra Commander (Joesph Gordon-Levitt), planning on using the warheads to cause worldwide panic and bring about a new world order. Using a tracking device, McCullen locates the G.I. Joe base and sends Storm Shadow (Byung-Hun Lee) and the Baroness to retrieve the warheads, with assistance from Zartan (Arnold Vosloo). During an expedition in the Atlantic Ocean, Commander has raised the ancient island of Atlantis from the ocean depths and is using it as a base. With a nearly indestructible army and powerful space weapons, the power-crazed Cobra is plotting to use the long lost powers of the Atlanteans in their bid to rule the world.
After a fight, Storm Shadow and the Baroness retrieve the warheads and take them to Baron DeCobray, the Baroness's husband, for him to weaponize. Making their way to Paris, the Joes pursue the Baroness and Storm Shadow. Duke manages to stop them from launching one of the missiles, by hitting the kill switch, but in so doing, he is captured and taken to Cobra Commander's base in Atlantis.
The Joes locate the secret base and fly there, as Cobra Commander loads three missiles with nukes, which are aimed for Beijing, Moscow, and Washington, DC, the world's three most important cities. He intends to do this to strike fear into the hearts of every man, woman, and child on the planet, after which they will turn to the person with the most power in the world, the President of the United States. After Snake Eyes takes out one missile, Ripcord destroys the remaining two using a stolen M.A.R.S. prototype Night Raven jet, while Scarlett, Breaker, and Snake Eyes infiltrate the base. Snake Eyes duels and prevails over Storm Shadow. Duke learns that Cobra Commander is Rex Lewis, Ana's brother, believed to have been killed by a mistimed airstrike during a mission led by Duke (also the origin of the alienation between Duke and Ana). Rex had encountered Doctor Mindbender (Kevin J. O'Connor) in the bunker and was seduced by the nanomite technology, taking too long to retrieve the data and getting caught in the bombing, which disfigured him. After freeing Duke, the Baroness is subdued, as Cobra Commander reveals he has implanted her with nanomites, which has put her under his control for the past four years. Attempting to kill Duke, McCullen ends up being burned, so Cobra Commander and he flee to an escape vessel. Duke and the Baroness pursue him while the Joes fall back; when Cobra Commander activates the base's self-destruct sequence, which involves 'blowing the caverns' to create blocks of ice which then nearly crush the Joes.
The city of Atlantis is freed from Cobra's Command, but it stinks again, returning to it's former place. Cobra Commander, having healed McCullen's burned face with nanomites, encasing it in silver and naming him "Destro", which places McCullen under the Commander's control. They escape to somewhere unknown. On the supercarrier USS Flagg, the Baroness is placed in protective custody until they can remove the nanomites from her body.
- Channing Tatum as Conrad S. Hauser / Duke
The lead soldier. Lorenzo di Bonaventura was originally interested in casting Mark Wahlberg, and when the script was rewritten into a G.I. Joe origin story, the studio offered the role to Tatum. Tatum had played a soldier in Stop-Loss, an anti-war film, and originally wanted no part in G.I. Joe, which he felt glorified war. The actor later detailed that he wound up in the film due to a contractual obligation with Paramount, given Tatum signed a three picture deal following Coach Carter. Tatum was a fan of the G.I. Joe franchise growing up, and expressed interest in playing Snake Eyes despite Paramount wanting him for Duke.
- Marlon Wayans as Wallace A. Weems / Ripcord
A pilot with a romantic interest in Scarlett. A fan of the franchise, Wayans was cast on the strength of his performance in Requiem for a Dream. Bonaventura said that the film showed Wayans could be serious as well as funny.
- Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Hershel Dalton / Heavy Duty
An ordnance expert and field commander of the team. Common was offered the role of Heavy Duty's cousin Roadblock, although Bonaventura previously indicated Heavy Duty was being used in that character's stead. Stuart Beattie ultimately chose to have Heavy Duty instead of Roadblock.
- Dennis Quaid as General Clayton M. Abernathy / Hawk
The Joes' commanding officer. Quaid described Hawk as "a cross between Chuck Yeager and Sgt. Rock and maybe a naïve Hugh Hefner". Quaid's son convinced him to take on the part, and the filmmakers enjoyed working with him so much, Stuart Beattie wrote "10 to 15 more scenes" for the character. He filmed all his scenes within the first two months of production.
- Rachel Nichols as Shana M. O'Hara / Scarlett
Scarlett graduated from college at age 12 and became the team's intelligence expert. Having left school so early, she does not understand men's attraction to her. Nichols was the first choice for the role. Nichols had dyed her blonde hair red – Scarlett's hair color – for her role in Star Trek, which she filmed before G.I. Joe. She burned herself filming an action sequence with Sienna Miller.
- Ray Park as Snake Eyes
A mysterious ninja commando who took a vow of silence, a departure from the character's traditional difficulty in speaking due to grievous vocal wounds, a close member of the Arashikage ninja clan, and Storm Shadow's rival. Park specifically practiced wushu for the role, as well as studying the character's comic book poses. Park was already familiar with the character, but knew very little of the surrounding saga of G.I. Joe versus Cobra, so he read the comics to further understand the character. He was nervous about wearing the mask, which covered his entire head quite tightly, so he requested to practice wearing it at home. He found the full costume, including the visor, very heavy to wear and akin to a rubber band; he had to put effort into moving in it.
- Saïd Taghmaoui as Abel Shaz / Breaker
The team's communications specialist and hacker. He is seen chewing gum during the Battle of Paris in an homage to the original character.
- Karolína Kurková as Courtney A. Krieger / Cover Girl
Hawk's aide-de-camp. Kurková described going from her modeling career to making such a film as "an amazing experience", but said she was upset about not taking part in any action sequences.
- Brendan Fraser (uncredited) as Sergeant Geoffrey Stone IV / Stone
Fraser was reportedly going to play Gung-Ho, but was instead later revealed to be playing Sergeant Stone. According to the director's commentary on the DVD, Fraser begged director Stephen Sommers to be in the movie, making it his fourth collaboration with Sommers after The Mummy franchise.
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Rex Lewis / Cobra Commander
The Baroness' brother, a former soldier who was thought to have been killed during a mission led by Duke – instead, he became the disfigured head scientist of Military Armament Research Syndicate (MARS). USA Today reported that Gordon-Levitt would play multiple roles. Gordon-Levitt wore prosthetic makeup under a mask that was redesigned from the comics because the crew found it too reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan. Upon seeing concept art of the character, Gordon-Levitt signed on because; "I was like, 'I get to be that? You're going to make that [makeup] in real life and stick it on me? Cool. Let me do it.' That's a once-in-lifetime opportunity." Gordon-Levitt is a friend of Tatum and they co-starred in Stop-Loss and Havoc. His casting provided extra incentive for Tatum to join the film. Gordon-Levitt described his vocal performance as being "half reminiscent" of Chris Latta's voice for the 1980s cartoon, but also half his own ideas, because he felt rendering it fully would sound ridiculous.
- Christopher Eccleston as Laird James McCullen XXIV / Destro
A weapons designer and the founder of MARS who is the main villain in the early part of the film.
- Sienna Miller as Anastasia DeCobray / Baroness
The sister of Cobra Commander and a spy. Miller auditioned for the part because it did not involve "having a breakdown or addicted to heroin or dying at the end, something that was just maybe really great fun and that people went to see and actually just had a great time seeing." Miller prepared with four months of weight training, boxing sessions and learned to fire live ammunition, gaining five pounds of muscle. She sprained her wrist after slipping on a rubber bullet while filming a fight scene with Rachel Nichols.
- Byung-hun Lee as Thomas Arashikage / Storm Shadow
Snake Eyes' rival; both were close members of the Arashikage ninja clan. Lee was unfamiliar with G.I. Joe because the franchise is unknown in South Korea, but Sommers and Bonaventura told him that it was not necessary to watch the cartoons to prepare for the role. Lee was attracted to Storm Shadow's "dual personality," which he stated has "huge pride and honor."
- Arnold Vosloo as Zartan
A disguise expert who serves Destro.
- Kevin J. O'Connor as Doctor Mindbender
A scientist in McCullen's employ who developed the nanomite technology.
Filming and design
G.I. Joe received $10.5 million on it's Friday opening. The film earned $40,501,814 during its opening weekend at the box office, putting it at #1. The film's opening weekend gross was only 30% behind TransformersTemplate:' $70.5 million debut.
International, G.I. Joe had a bigger debut in the international market with $80.3 million across the weekend. It had the best international opening weekend in China with $33.5 million, and in Germany with $4.3 million.
At the end of its theatrical release, the film grossed a total of $122,523,060 in the US and $253,217,645 in foreign markets for a worldwide total of $375,740,705.